It was a long, hot weekend at Juniper Moon Farm, with lots of ups and downs.
On the up side, Maggie and I were charmed and delighted by our farm stay guests, Gail and her six-year-old daughter Cici. They came down from New York on Thursday and were awfully good sports, not once complaining about weather, even when the heat index made it feel like it was 108 degrees.
We also had an overnight visit from my mama and her boyfriend Ted. (Somehow I managed not to get a picture of the two of them, which breaks my heart because they are adorable.) They drove up all the way from Texas to attend my mom’s high school reunion in Blacksburg, VA. I should say they came to Virginia for the reunion. The reason they drove was to deliver this:
This monstrosity is actually a beautiful, antique Mexican loom that my sister found about a year ago. Carrie bought it for me and it’s been sitting in my mama’s living room ever since.
Clearly, the loom is going to need a lot of work to before it’s functional, but I kind of love it.
The details are lovely.
I really love the fact that there is still fabric made by the last weaver who used the loom.
Believe it or not, there’s a loom-repair person in my neighborhood. Hopefully he or she will be willing to take on a big project.
While all of our house guests were preparing to leave the farm Saturday morning, Maggie noticed that Nan, one of our Cormo ewes, seemed lethargic. She was running a temp of 104, which is still with in the “normal” range but on the high side, and show no interest in food. We gave her electrolytes and an energy concoction and got her and her lamb, Norris, into the barn to cool off. She seemed to improve at first with regular attention, but there’s been no change in the last 24 hours and she’s gone off feed, which is never a good sign.
We are treating Nan with antibiotics, pain reliever, electrolytes and energy booster, and doing our best to keep her cool. Maggie just reported that, after having her belly cooled off with water, Nan took a bite of grain. It’s encouraging and we’ll keep it up.
Nan is a lovely ewe and I am very concerned about her. It stinks, because we were feeling confident coming off the success of getting Sicily back up to health (we turned her and Fairfax back out with the flock a few days ago.)
I couldn’t really leave the farm for the rest of the weekend because I needed to monitor Nan, but sitting around worrying was making me a nervous wreck. I needed a project to occupy my mind between barn checks, so I got out my serger and spent the rest of the weekend sewing.
First I made about a dozen produce bags. We joined our local vegetable CSA this summer and Maggie did some research to find out the best way to store all the beautiful lettuces and such that we’ve been getting in our weekly allotment. Turns out that almost everything store best wrapped loosely in tea towels and stored in the crisper drawer of the fridge. I decided it would be simpler and neater to make bags out of inexpensive tea towels from Ikea.
On the first bag, I cut the folded edges off the tea towel before stitching it up, but it was unnecessary and actually made a flimsier bag when finished.
For the rest, I folded the towels in half and stitched up the sides, leaving the tops open.
To make smaller bags, I cut the tea towels in half and followed the same procedure.
I was really pleased with the results. They are terribly French looking, oui? I love this kind of sewing. It’s practical and completely un-fiddley. Plus, the results are instant.
I don’t know about you, but once I have my sewing machine out, I will keep it out for ages. My produce bags were so simple and lovely that I was inspired to dig into my fabric stash and make cloth napkins.
I might have gone a bit overboard- I made about 50- but we don’t use paper napkins or paper towels at all, so we go through a good many cloth napkins a week.
I love fabric and cloth napkins are a great way to use your favorite prints everyday.
I’m pretty sure these are my favorites.
I was so inspired by my successful sewing that it motivated me to re-organize my fabric stash. And seeing all the beautiful fabric I have at my disposal has inspired me to more sewing. I’m looking through my quilting books today for a new project to start.
I also made strawberry jam this weekend, but I’ll save that story for my next post.Hope you had a productive weekend. I’ll keep you updated on Nan’s progress throughout the day.